Friday, October 31, 2014

Things you don't want to know: Your dogs anal glands

Disclaimer: The following discussion my be offensive to some humans

Many of you asked about what happened to me at the veterinary clinic and why I yes being so secretive. Well, I just didn't want to offend my readers. And I didn't think people would be so interested. But they are.

Truth is, I am a lady. There are just some things we just don't talk about. But maybe I should. Maybe there is a reason for sharing my experience. There are dogs out there who needs this information. Dear dogs, this is for you.

Stinky? - What's it All About?
OK, so here goes. I was stinky I was embarrssed. I tried to hide this but I couldn't. Sometimes I smelled especially bad in the morning and sometimes I had a rank odor when I rode in the car. It wasn't BO and it wasn't gas. It was something worse.

So, under the guise of visiting the vet for a nail clip, my owner slipped in the fact that I might just need my anal glands looked at. You see, she heard about the problem on the Urban Coonhound website. And she also heard that there was some things that could be done to resolve the issue. If that was the source of my "stink," I needed help.

What the Vet Did
So, as usual, the vet checked me out, pretty much all over. He is very thorough. I don't like that but I know it is for my own good. Then came the "stink" issue. He took one whiff of me and said, "Yep, she's got anal glad problems."

So he took me in back with his assistant. They put on latex gloves (I didn't like that!) and lifted my tail. OH NO! And pretty quickly they squeezed the tissue on the lower part of my anus and that horrible smelly stuff came out. YUCK! Everyone there said, "YUCK!" And then it was over. They gave my hiney a little bath with some nice smelling soap to make sure I was clean.

Then they clipped my nails and brought me back to my owner. YAY! It was all done. They call this "expressing the anal glands"

It really doesn't hurt but it sure is embarrassing.
Here is where the anal glads are found.

What to Do to Prevent Anal Gland Problems
Well, it was decided that having more fiber in my diet would help. So now I am getting plain canned pumpkin on my food every night. I LOVE PUMPKIN! And, this certainly is the season for it!

I am hoping that will prevent problems in the future.

Love, Sweet Smelling Cinnamon

More Information
How to Express Your Dog's Anal Glands

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Expoloring Vancouver Washington: Waterfront Renaissance Trail

Here's the Water Resources Education Center. We parked there but I didn't go inside.
I've been out exploring my home town of Vancouver, Washington. My favorite place is along the mighty Columbia River. Usually I hit the Waterfront Renaissance Trail near the I-5 Bridge and walk east. But today I wanted to do something different. So we started at the Water Resources Education Center which is much farther east than I have ever gone on the trail. And I was glad I did!
Here's the fountain and the big solar panel.
You access the Center by driving east on Columbia Way. It's a great place for learning and just walking around sniffing and exploring. The first thing I noticed was a fountain and a huge solar panel next to it. I found out that with an hour of full sun, it can light 10 100-watt light bulbs. It was sunny so I thought it might be working away. The Center was closed so we walked around the grounds.
Here's the Kaleidoscope. It was too high for me so I sniffed it!
This is what my owner could see. She spent too much time looking at things here!
We saw something really unusual. Was it a telescope? Nope, it was a kaleidoscope focusing on a little dish garden of succulent plants. It was my owner's favorite thing to see but it was too high for me to reach. So I sniffed around the base while she had all the fun.
Here I am looking out toward the wetlands. I thought I might scare a frog or two there.
After that, it was time to head out on the trail. We stopped at the wetlands and looked out over the Columbia River. Sailboats were out. It had been stormy and the boats had to stay home for a couple of days. But today, the sailboats were out in all their glory. I love the colorful spinnakers!
Oh no! This was really scary!
When we were looking for birds in the wetlands, I spied a measuring stick. It went from way down on the shoreline up to where we were standing. I found out that was the height of the 1996 flood! I am glad I wasn't there during that flood. It must have been really scary!
Oh No!
Finally, we trotted down the trail. But we didn't get very far at all. You see, the Mighty Columbia River had done some damage to the trail. Part of it ahead was eroded. So we had to take a detour. Crumb! Repairs are now underway on one of two sections of Vancouver’s popular Waterfront Renaissance Trail in the Tidewater Cove area, which were closed to the public after high water undermined the trail’s foundation in 2011. 

This is the view from Tidewater Cove!

It could have been worse. The trail could have been closed. But instead we took the sidewalk along the road to get to Tidewater Cove. I didn't like that part of the trail but the cove was really neat. There was a dock with a boat moored and a walkway out to the point. I went all the way out on the point and saw a bench to sit on. It was donated by Kelly Puteney, a real trails and parks advocate. Thank you Kelly!
Here I am on Kelly's Bench
I basked in the sun and watched the sailboats on the Columbia and the planes taking off from the Portland International Airport across the river. 
Soon it was time to move on. We walked by some beautiful new condos. From the third floor, two black labs barked at me. I think they were jealous that I was out exploring the riverside. I was excited to see what was next.
Here's the condos where the dogs barked at me!
It wasn't a very long walk until we came to Wintler Park and A BEACH! I think that would be a great place to run and play. The Columbia River was lapping at the shore and I decided not to go wading. 

It started clouding up so we turned around and headed back down the trail, retracing out steps. We quickened our pace for sure. By the time we got to the car it was just starting to rain. Good thing we headed back when we did!

I think I want to go back, especially to Tidewater Cover. I love sitting on Kelly's Bench at the end of the walkway watching the river and the air traffic. What a great place to visit!

Someday I might take the whole 5 mile walk along the Waterfront Renaissance Trail. (or maybe not)
But if I do that, we have to have a ride back because 10 miles is definitely too much for this Coonhound! 

Love, Cinnamon the Vancouver Coonhound

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Should Dogs Eat Asparagus?

I just ate some asparagus. It was on a leftover plate my owner let me have. I usually don't get leftover plates but since we had such a great walk today, she thought I could have a little extra for a snack.

Yeah, I had some asparagus, but not this much!
But wait a minute! Can dogs eat asparagus? Well, I did. But is it safe? I checked out many articles on the Internet and found out that, yes, DOGS CAN HAVE ASPARAGUS. Well, let's not over-do it. It has vitamins and fiber and a little is just fine.

But I also learned that ASPARAGUS FERNS, the houseplant type, are not NOT OK FOR DOGS! According to this helpful article from  "The asparagus fern (also called emerald feather, emerald fern, sprengeri fern, plumosa fern or lace fern) is toxic to dogs and cats. The toxic agent in the plant is sapogenin — a steroid found in a variety of plants. If a dog or cat ingests the berries of this plant, vomiting, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain can occur. Allergic dermatitis (skin inflammation) can occur if an animal is repeatedly exposed." Read their article for the 10 houseplants animals should NOT try.

So I'm safe. Phew!

Hiking Safety for Dogs: Why Are Dogs in Danger in the Columbia Gorge?

It seems like there are quite a few dogs who go hiking with their owners in the Columbia River Gorge that end up falling, some as much as 100 feet or more! That is really scary. Here's the latest report - two in one week! So what do we do about hiking safety for dogs? Aren't we more sure-footed than humans? Apparently not.

So I've been hiking and haven't fallen. I think it's because I usually hike on fairly flat terrain and I always have my leash and harness on. Many dogs don't. I see them on the trails. Their owners think it is fun for them to run along the trail as free as a coyote. BUT IT IS DANGEROUS!
Here's some humans hiking with their dog who only has 3 legs. This is a tough hike.
I wouldn't go!

I've been reading about hiking safety for dogs like me. Here are some tips for hiking with your owner:

1. You must be well-trained and come when called. If you can't do that, wear a harness and leash.
2. If you are in a hilly area, are going to do climbing or are hiking a narrow trail, WEAR THAT HARNESS AND LEASH! You can fall. Dogs do it all the time in the Columbia River Gorge where I live.
3. Always have water. If you are not used to carrying water in your own backpack, have your owner carry it. A hike is not the best time to practice with a dog pack.
4. Always have identification on you. If you are microchipped, that is great but a collar with license and name and phone number is even better.
5. Have a first aid kit. Sites such as have a information about dogs, including articles about first aid. Petco and the Red Cross offer first-aid classes. You never know when we might run into something WILD on the trail!
6. Don't hike unless you are able to. Some dogs can't tolerate the cold. Some dogs can't tolerate the heat (ME!), so make sure your owner knows what is possible for you. (Humans don't like to carry dogs down a trail!).
7. Last but not least, make sure your owner cleans up after you. Have good trail manners.
Here's those same humans realizing they can't climb rocks with their dog.
And, someone has to help him down!

I think what is so dangerous in the Columbia River Gorge is that there are narrow trails and drop offs. Humans think ahead and see these things. But we dogs, follow our noses, follow squirrels and birds. We just don't think of our own safety!

Here's my simple, flat woodsy trail. No danger here. Besides, I have my leash and harness on!
I'm an urban coonhound. I just prefer simple, safe trails. In fact, my owner prefers that type of hiking too!

Love, Safety Cinnamon

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Preparing your Dog for Moving: A Dog's Perspective

I've been house hunting for a couple months now. Sometimes I see a house that would be perfect for me but we don't even make an offer on it. No one explains it to the dog!
She'd better not leave without ME! I don't know what's going on!

Sometimes we make an offer on a house that seems perfect. And then my owner says there is something wrong with it? No one explains it to the dog!

So now something is going on and I don't know what it is. We are packing but no one shows me the new house or the backyard. There seems to be a big waiting game. No one explains it to the dog!

We go to Home Depot to look at carpeting. I have fun playing with the guy wearing a pink watch. But we haven't ordered the carpet yet. No one explains it to the dog!

I'm sleeping in strange places nowadays
I am confused. We have packed some breakables. Pictures have been taken off the wall. The curio cabinet is empty. The plants in the backyard have been moved. It's unsettling. I'm showing the stress. I sleep in strange places. Sometimes it is at the top of the stairs where I can watch her. Sometimes it is by the door so she can't leave without me. Today she found me sleeping in her closet. I've never ever slept there before. In fact, I'm not allowed in her bedroom!

I'm scared. Will I be left behind? These are the tough times for Cinnamon. I just want to be settled SOMEWHERE!

It is important, that during a move, the dog is informed. It is important that schedules are not changed and the dog's bed is still there in the right place. It is important that play time with toys and trips to the dog park continue. 

And in the new house, it is important that your dog's things are put in place first!

My crate is important to me. If we move, it had better be there!

So what can I do? I just want to be settled. I have started feeling sorry for myself.

So I went on the Internet and looked at what was going on with my peers. I read about a German Shepherd pining away for his owner who didn't come home. His owner was the soldier that was killed in Ottawa, Canada .... So unfair.

I read about a black an tan coonhound that lost one eye yet was watching squirrels with the other one right after his surgery. Could there be dogs who have it worse than I do? Yes, I believe there are.

But I am Cinnamon and I still feel unsettled!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014